Singapore search team returns after hunt for crashed AirAsia plane

SINGAPORE - The team of 12 experts deployed to help the hunt for the AirAsia plane that crashed in the Java sea two weeks ago returned to Singapore on Thursday after completing their mission.

Transport minister Lui Tuck Yew, who met the team from the ministry's Air Accident Investigation Bureau and Maritime and Port Authority, thanked them for their efforts to find flight QZ 8501, which had 162 people on board.

Describing them as the "eyes and ears" of the multi-national search party, Mr Lui said the team made a difference in the search operation.

They spent about 12 days out in the choppy seas and worked with the Indonesian and French investigators to look for the plane's black box and flight data recorder.

The Singapore team used two underwater locator beacon detector systems, which have a submerged hydrophone to "listen" for the pinging sounds emitted by a plane's flight recorder.

jermync@sph.com.sg